After a long wait due to two days of heavy rain in Melbourne and long games in the round, Beatriz Haddad Maia was eliminated in her debut match at the Australian Open. Number 1 in Brazil fell to Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz, ranked 75th, by 7/6 (13-11) and 6/2 in 2h06 of the match. It was the Spaniard’s third victory in four games against Bia on the circuit.
In the week in which she appears with the best ranking of her career , now ranked 14th in the world, Bia suffers an unprecedented elimination in her debut in Melbourne. She had always overcome the first round in the 2018, 2019 and 2022 editions. The 26-year-old from São Paulo has four wins in six games of the season. She is now concentrating her efforts on the doubles bracket, this time alongside Chinese Shuai Zhang. Last year, she was a tournament doubles finalist.
Bia’s executioner in Australia, Parrizas Diaz faces Anastasia Potapova, a 21-year-old Russian and 44th in the ranking. Potapova eliminated the North American Sloane Stephens, formerly top 3 and currently 39th in the ranking, by 7/6 (7-2) and 6/4. This was Stepehens’ third straight elimination in a debut this year, repeating what had happened in Auckland and Hobart.
In a first set lasting 1h21 and with ups and downs for both players, Parrizas Diaz tried to be aggressive and go for the definition of points whenever possible. The strategy was risky, it yielded a high number of errors for the Spaniard, 31 in the opening set alone, but it helped her to open up an advantage.
Parrizas Diaz was the first to break and opened 3/1 after escaping two break-points. But Bia got two breaks and turned the score to 5/3. Serving for the set, the Brazilian made three mistakes with the forehand and allowed the tie. The tiebreak between the two players was tough and Bia showed the power of reaction. She managed to save ten set-points, many of them in the opponent’s mistakes, but the Spaniard managed to close the partial. In statistics, Parrizas Diaz was 21 to 14 on winners and committed 10 more errors.
At the beginning of the second set, Parrizas Diaz tried to reduce the margin of error a little more and was no longer so aggressive. Bia did not start well in the partial and lost by 3/0. Acting with a protection on the left calf and with some difficulties in movement, she even returned the break in the fifth game, dominating the points with the forehand, but would lose the serve again soon after.
When the Spaniard led the score by 4/2, it started to rain lightly and the game was momentarily paralyzed. On the way back, Parrizas Diaz confirmed the serve and made it 5/2. And with a new break, the Spaniard defined the match. She went 30-19 on winners and made 37 errors to 32.